Did you know that I give private fly tying lessons?

I didn’t either, until a few weeks ago. Bill stopped by my table at the CFFA Expo and asked if I’d give him some fly tying lessons. He wanted to learn some new patterns and refine his technique. We met on Friday, and a swell time was had by all. In addition to tying, we talked about tactics and strategies, from wet fly to nymphing and stripers to trout. So yes, I can speak at your club or show. Yes, I can take you out on the water. And yes, I can work with you on tying and fly fishing theory/practical applications.

I am a teacher. It’s what I do.

Here’s a free lesson for everyone: use only as many thread wraps as you need. Use only as much material as you need (you’re probably using too much.) Here’s how much fur I use for the hackle on a Squirrel and Ginger. And did I mention that you first need to clear out the longer guard hairs and all that underfur dross with a mini comb? What you leave out of a fly is as important as what you put in.

Fur hackle dubbing loop prep

Et voila.

S&G ready to finish

Happy Monday and other items of minor interest

Greetings, fellow reader. Just a note to say hello, give some thanks, and update you on current(seams) events.

I had a blast tying at the CFFA Expo on Saturday. Many thanks to those who gathered ’round my vise, said hello, and asked questions. I escaped the show with a just a patch of opossum fur and a bag o’ tungsten beads. Hopefully you found the treasure you were looking for.

Next up: “Trout Flies for Local Rivers” Tying Demo, Saturday, March 31, 10am-2pm at The Compleat Angler, Darien, CT.  I’ll be tying some of my favorite patterns: wets, dries, nymphs, and streamers, from traditional classics to new designs. These are all high-confidence, proven flies, and I’ll also discuss how and when I like to fish them. For directions and stuff, visit the CA website.

I may also be doing a class at UpCountry. I’ll let you know if that happens.

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Hey, we’re getting close to 600 followers! Once we get there, we’ll do our traditional  fly giveaway. 

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I’m starting to get a lot of inquiries for guiding on the Farmington this spring. As usual, my schedule will be tight with other commitments, and weekends will almost always be out. If you have your mind set on a certain date, that’s fine, but if I were you I’d wait a few weeks to see how the spring shakes out. Remember, the Farmy fishes well year round, so there are plenty of options as we move through April, May, June, July, and beyond. I’ve also had some interest in small stream and striper outings. Those are doable as well. If you want to discuss any of this, please send me an email or call me. You can find my contact info here.

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Finally, the word machine is humming along. I have pieces in the pipeline for American Angler, Field & Stream, Fly Tyer, and more. Stay tuned. And thanks for your loyal support!

Before you know it, you’ll be able to stick your hand in the water without it flash-freezing.

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New gig Wednesday, October 4: “The Little Things” at CT Surfcasters in Madison

Short notice, but I will be presenting “The Little Things” at the October 4 meeting of the Connecticut Surfcaster Association at the Surf Club in Madison, CT.  The meeting starts at 7pm and is open to the public. For more information, visit the Surfcasters’ website.

I’m continuing to work on “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass” — been hard at it today. Still waiting to hear from the Arts of the Angler in Danbury, CT and The Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA, and Edison, NJ. When I have presentations and dates and times, I will share them here.

Number One Son just passed the Florida Bar, but here he is working on his drag-free drift. 

Bill Dry

 

 

Long Island Flyrodders awarded the Legion of Cookout Merit

Many thanks to the members of the Long Island Flyrodders for their generous, welcoming spirit. What an impressive crowd — I believe it was nearly 60 — on a fine summer’s evening. The Long Island Flyrodders know that a fed presenter is a happy presenter, and I must say that my cheeseburger, dog, beans, and — bonus! — bag of Cheetos really hit the spot. (The beer was tasty, too.) Thanks again for hosting me, and I look forward to a return engagement.

These folks know how to hold a meeting. Good spread, good people, good energy — the bar has been set to a new height. 

LIFlyrodders

Celebrating summer

July is a darn good month to be an angler in these parts. I just returned from a week on Block Island, and while the fishing wasn’t great (spotty action and smaller fish) I did get into bass every night. Detailed report and pics to come.

I’m really looking forward to getting back to the Farmington, in particular to swinging some wets. The spring’s cool temps and voluminous water supply should make for some terrific wet fly outings over the next several weeks. Speaking of wet flies, there’s one more opening in Sunday’s UpCountry Wet Flies 101 class. Jump on it and become the envy of all your trout angling friends. You can’t sign up with me; you have to do it through the store here.

Speaking of jumping on things, if you’re planning on booking a lesson/outing/trip with me, best to inquire now. My days are filling up (two gigs next week) and I am going to jealously guard my personal fishing time. You know where to find me.

Client John with a fine example of what is possible on the Farmington River at noon on a sunny day in July.

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Farmington River Report 6/14/17: Confidence catches fish, Sulphur City

I guided Keith on Thursday and his goal was to leave the river with more confidence than when he arrived. I think we accomplished that. Where to fish, how to fish, which flies to use — keeping it simple is usually a good place to start. So we headed of to a spot below the permanent TMA for some nymphing basics. Spring mornings are almost always a good time to nymph. We did both short line and indicator, and on this day indicator was the more successful method. We took fish on both the dropper (size 18 2x short Starling and Herl) and the point fly (BH Squirrel and Ginger).

Next up: Wet Flies 101. I was disappointed with this second location, downriver from the first. Our drifts were good and we covered some fishy water, but you can’t catch what doesn’t want to eat — or what isn’t there — so we headed off to trout central, AKA the permanent TMA.

Good call. As we worked our way downstream into some slower water, we saw active feeders. Even though the water was better suited for dries, properly presented soft hackles can be deadly during a hatch. Caddis was the bug, and we had two caddis patterns on our team of three (S&G top dropper and Winter Brown on point) with a dark fly (Drowned Ant) in the middle.  It wasn’t long before Keith’s line came tight to beautiful brown.

Keith shows us how it’s done, much to the delight of his instructor.

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We took fish on all three flies, but only one on the dark middle fly. We got nearly into double-digit numbers, a mix of stocked browns, rainbows, a Survivor Strain brown and a few wild ones. I was intrigued by the parr marks on this rainbow. He wasn’t all that delicate, though, putting on an impressive aerial display during the fight.

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Finally, I fished from 5pm-7:15pm way downstream in an area that got torched by last summer’s drought. I wanted to see what the Sulphur hatch was like, and, more important, was anything taking advantage of it? Good news, bad news: tremendous sulphur hatch (I’d give it an 8 out of 10) with swarms of yellow bugs everywhere. Bad news: like my experience in April in the same area with Hendrickson, precious little surface activity. Sure, there were a few trout that were feeding, but the rises were infrequent and seemingly random. I rose three trout but failed to get a hookset. Also witnessed were caddis, tiny BWOs, and a few Isonychia. I think we’ll have to wait another year or two for the trout to re-establish.

Hello, old friend. Always happy to see your face.

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Wet Fly 101 class, articles, and guiding trips

Busy as usual, but I think there’s some fishing light at the end of the tunnel! Sulphurs, grass shrimp, Block Island sand eels, evening spinner falls, walking some snotty water swinging wets….these are all on my mind right now. And tying. I don’t know about you, but my fly boxes need some serious attention. But first…

Sunday, July 9, 9am-2pm, Wet Flies 101 class through Upcountry Sportfishing. This is both a stream side and an on-the-water class. It’s intended as a basic intro to wet fly fishing. Given our early season water levels, I think this will be a dynamite summer for wets on the Farmington. If you want to catch more fish, the art of the wet fly is a skill set you should have. Please note: you cannot sign up for this class here. You have to do it through UpCountry. For more information, click this link.

Taken on a soft-hackled March Brown on a hot August afternoon. The lengthwise opening of the net is 17″. As your GPS would say, “recalculating…”

20" brown on a soft-hackle

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I recently saw the galley proof for my summer smallmouth article. It’s titled, “Hot Bronze,” and you can read it in the August 2017 issue of Field & StreamMultiple articles coming up in American Angler, too. And if you’re in charge of booking speakers for your club, some new presentations as well.

Finally, if you’re planning on doing a guide trip with me, its a good idea to get out the calendar and pick some date options. Summer is as time-space continuum-challenging for me as the school year, with multiple sports camps/tournaments for the boys and me mostly doing pickup/dropoff. For more information on my philosophy, rates, and contact info, click here.

And as always, thanks for reading currentseams.